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Azkaellon

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Azkaellon

Azkaellon is a venerated member of the Blood Angels, and the founder and first commander of the Sanguinary Guard, the Chapter's elite veteran fighting force and personal praetorians of the Primarch Sanguinius. Though his body is long since deceased, it has not decayed, something many hold to be an act of the Emperor's grace. Moreover, many within the Sanguinary Guard suspect his soul to have become The Sanguinor.[1]

History

Pre-Heresy

Azkaellon participated in the joint Blood Angels/Luna Wolves assault on Melchior, fighting the Nephilim. Following the battle, it was discovered that Battle-brother Alotros of the 111th Company had fallen to the Red Thirst. As one of the few who knew of the condition, Azkaellon helped First Captain Raldoron secure the site, but objected to Sanguinius becoming involved, saying that Alotros needed to be handled quietly. Sanguinius disagreed, saying that he needed to be there. While they saw Sanguinius go in, both Azkaellon and Raldoron were shocked to see both Sanguinius and Horus Lupercal emerge. Azkaellon rounded on Raldoron, saying his warriors were insufficient for the task at hand. Raldoron countered that his Sergeant Zuriel had equally failed to detect the Primarch of the Luna Wolves, and Azkaellon retorted that Zuriel would be disciplined for his failure, and Raldoron had little doubt of that.[2a]

Some years later, Azkaellon was dispatched with Task Force Ignis to locate a scientific colony on Nartaba Octus, following rumours that there was a scientific facility that could help with dealing with the Red Thirst.[2b] However, the Blood Angels discovered that the planet was overrun with Dark Eldar, who had destroyed the facility. Azkaellon would take little part in the battle of Nartaba Octus following this discovery,[2c] but did come to see Apothecary Meros when he learned that the battle-brother had been injured by a Dark Eldar soulseeker. Azkaellon had assumed that Meros would perish, but was impressed to discover that the Apothecary survived. He then relayed to Meros, Sergeant Cassiel, and Sarga that the entire IX Legion was to rendezvous and converge on the Signus Cluster, as per the orders of Warmaster Horus.[3] Before Task Force Ignis departed, however, a ship of the Space Wolves Legion carrying Captain Helik Redknife and his squad arrived, carrying orders from Malcador the Sigillite that the Wolves to observe. Azkaellon rebuked Redknife both for his reckless flying and the presence of Rune Priest Jonor Stiel, saying that the Edict of Nikaea had forbidden Librarians from using their powers. Redknife told Azkaellon that Stiel's power came from Fenris, not the Warp, and that was all the explanation they needed.[2c]

At some point during the Great Crusade, Azkaellon dueled Lucius of the Emperor's Children aboard an oceanic warship, and although Lucius wins by drawing first blood by this point Azkaellon has already tackled him over the side, humiliating him in front of his men and robbing Lucius of the victory he wanted.[7]

Heresy

Azkaellon was present for the subsequent translation to the Signus Cluster, where a group of Word Bearers under Chaplain Tanus Kreed accompanied the Fleet. Azkaellon listened to strange background noise in vox transmissions, and dismissed it as merely a communications countermeasure.[2d] Upon reaching the bridge with his Primarch, he bore witness to the destruction of Phorus[2e] and subsequent meeting of the Council of Angels, where Sanguinius ordered a scout team dispatched to Holst of Blood Angels and Word Bearers.[2f] However, the planet itself began attacking the Blood Angels, destroying the Paleknight. Azkaellon then witnessed something he had never seen before: Sanguinius ordered Holst subjected to exterminatus extremis, destroying the whole of Holst. [2g] Azkaellon then debriefed the warriors who were present for the mission, along with First Captain Raldoron and High Warden Dahka Berus, and was extremely skeptical of Apothecary Meros's tale.[2h] After the second mission to Scoltrum found survivors, Azkaellon was eager to know what they knew of the Nephilim, but Captain Dar Nakir said that they did not recognize them.[2i] As the Blood Angels fleet approached Signus Prime, a psychic scream assailed the non-Astartes aboard the ship. Azkaellon was with Sanguinius and Raldoron when Kyriss the Perverse, the Keeper of Secrets who claimed rule of the Signus Cluster, greeted them.[2j]

Admiral Athene DuCade, the Shipmaster of the Red Tear, was driven mad and set the battleship on collision course with Signus Prime. Azkaellon advocated that they abandon ship, but Sanguinius refused, and the Blood Angels rode the ship down to the planet. Later, at a meeting of the Council of Angels, Meros told the assembled warriors that the Dark Page, the vessel that carried the Word Bearers, had fled, leaving the Red Tear open, which Azkaellon confirmed. Captain Nassir Amit then revealed his concerns that Signus was a trap for the Angels, and that they had been betrayed by the Warmaster. Sanguinius nearly killed Amit in anger, but was stopped when Helik Redknife revealed that Magnus the Red, Primarch of the Thousand Sons, had disobeyed the Edict of Nikaea. Azkaellon reacted by denying the revelations to himself, until Sanguinius ordered the Blood Angels to swear an oath of moment to eradicate the enemy.[2k]

Azkaellon accompanied Sanguinius in the subsequent Battle of Signus Prime, but was separated from his Primarch when Sanguinius engaged Ka'Bandha the Bloodthirster and was injured.[2l] In his desperation to protect the Angel, Azkaellon shoved Meros aside as he tried to revive the Primarch, a wild look in his eyes. Teleporting back to the Red Tear, the Apothecaries were unable to revive Sanguinius, and a malign influence began affecting the Blood Angels, inflaming their anger at the Primarch's injury. Unable to contact the rest of the Council of Angels, Azkaellon urged Raldoron to abandon the campaign to protect Sanguinius. Mkani Kano, Raldoron's Adjutant and a former Librarian, revealed that his brothers in the Librarium had gathered and were ready to use their powers to revive Sanguinius. Though Azkaellon opposed breaking the Edict, Raldoron agreed, leading a strike team including Meros and one of the survivors from Scoltrum, Tyllian Niobe, who was a Pariah, to destroy the Warpcraft causing the rage.[2m] Azkaellon remained with the Librarians, and warned that if he say any evidence of sorcery, he would cut their heads with his Glaive Encarmine.[2n]

Despite his loyalty to Sanguinius, Azkaellon and the Sanguinary Guard gave into the rage and joined their brothers on the battlefield, abandoning the Primarch. Freed from the Warp's malign influence due to the sacrifice of Apothecary Meros, Azkaellon later helped oversee the removal of the Blood Angels presence in the Signus Cluster. When Warden Berus brought him the bodies of Helik Redknife and his fellow Space Wolves, they realized the importance of their wounds being caused by Space Marines, and kept the truth hidden from Sanguinius. Later, when Captain Amit confessed his role in the deaths of the Space Wolves to Raldoron, Azkaellon swore both warriors to silence, saying that if Sanguinius knew the truth, he would blame himself and would not lie to Leman Russ, which threatened the solidarity of the Adeptus Asartes at a time of war. While Raldoron reluctantly saw the logic within, Amit asked how he would quiet the pain in his heart. Azkaellon told him that was his burden to bear.[2o]

Later in Imperium Secundus' capital of Macragge, Azkaellon was guarding Sanguinius' throne room when he was set upon by Konrad Curze who had since been in hiding on the planet. Curze used the unconcious Azkaellon as a hostage so he could confide his own visions to Sanguinius. At the end of their talk, Curze cut off Azkaellon's arm and set off an explosive trap that mutilated the warrior before throwing him off a balcony. Choosing to rescue Azkaellon over pursuing Curze, Sanguinius caught the Sanguinary Guard. Azkaellon was badly wounded, but still alive.[5] Azkaelleon was later seen meeting with Drakus Gorod and Holguin, who he had grown friendly with.[6]

During the journey through the Ruinstorm to try and reach Terra, Azkaellon continued to stand at Sanguinius' side. Azkaellon fought alongside Sanguinius both at Pyrrhan and Davin, and in the latter desperately sought to rescue his Primarch from the clutches of Madail.[8] During the Battle of Beta-Garmon Azkaellon led a boarding action against a traitor-occupied Starfort The Anvil, capturing it but narrowly escaping before it detonated after realizing it was a trap.[9]

During the Battle of Terra, Sanguinius would order Azkaellon to remain in the Imperial Palace when he joined the Emperor and Rogal Dorn in boarding the Vengeful Spirit to face Warmaster Horus. Sanguinius and the rest of the Sanguinary Guard were killed, leaving Azkaellon the sole member of the Sanguinary Guard. Azkaellon would later oversee the division of the Blood Angels Legion into numerous Chapters[1], while Raldoron became the new Chapter Master of the Blood Angels.[4]

Personality

Azkaellon was extremely loyal to Sanguinius, to a degree that disturbed First Captain Raldoron. When Raldoron asked if Azkaellon would truly abandon his own battle-brothers, Azkaellon told the First Captain to his face that he would willingly sacrifice any warrior of the IX Legion for the Primarch's protection.[2m] Azkaellon was also extremely rigid in his manner. Where as Raldoron was fluid and adaptable in combat, Azkaellon was unyielding, another cause of friction between the Sanguinary Guard and the First Company.[2a]

Wargear

Like the rest of the Sanguinary Guard, Azkaellon wore a golden suit of Artificer Armour and a Winged Jump Pack, and wielded a Glaive Encarmine for close combat and an Angelus-pattern boltgun on his left wrist.[2a]

Sources